Brandeis soars into US Quidditch Cup 12
When thinking about Quidditch, many people think about Harry Potter. Originally based loosely off of the book and movie series, this game has become an intense sport on many college campuses. This past weekend, the Brandeis Quidditch team brought 15 players to attend the national US Quidditch Cup 12 in Texas.
Quidditch is played with seven players on the field at a time, including three chasers, two beaters, one keeper and one seeker, as explained in the rules of the sport. The chasers are players whose job is to keep possession of the quaffle, a ball similar to a volleyball. These players attempt to throw the quaffle through one of three hoops to obtain points for their team. If a player successfully throws the ball through the hoop, they obtain 10 points. The keeper, like the chaser, can also score points; however, their main job is to defend their team's hoops. The job of the beater is to knock out opponents with a bludger, a slightly deflated dodgeball. There are three bludgers in play at a time, and any player who is hit by a bludger must dismount their broom, drop any ball they are carrying and run back to touch one of the hoops to regain eligibility to play. In the 17th minute of play, an independent player, a snitch runner, is introduced in the game. Their job is to avoid capture as long as possible. The seeker is a player who becomes active in the 18th minute of play. Their goal is to catch the snitch.
Because a large portion of their team graduated in spring 2018, the team struggled in the fall. The team lost their first six games before finally coming out victorious. At the end of the semester, the team defeated Boston University for the first time in the program's history. This win was a much needed confidence boost, and allowed the team to come back in the spring semester stronger than before. With the addition of three midyears, the team felt prepared to take on any opponents.
Teamwork is also a large contributor to the team’s success. In an interview with the Justice, Victoria Sanchez ’22 said, “Quidditch is not possible without teamwork. There are so many different aspects to the game that constant communication and a teamwork mentality are a must. From saying who you are passing the quaffle to, to letting the team know when you've been beat and need to tag back in at the hoops, we would fall apart if we could not work together as a team.”
In an interview with the Justice, Aaron Stone ’20 explained, “If the team isn't on the same page, productivity grinds to a stop. This year we've focused a lot on communication on and off the pitch as well as keeping our cool during games. Those have seen a ton of improvement this year which has led to better chemistry and better results.” This season, the team’s goal was to qualify for nationals, and having done that, their next goal was to win two games at the competition and advance to the second-day bracket in the meet.
The team welcomes all players of any skill-level, Stone explained, “You don't even need to have read Harry Potter! We welcome anyone to come to our practices and try out the sport!” The team practices two to three days a week with additional optional workouts on top of that. Additionally, once a month, the team likes to get together, play games and eat food together from the C-store or the Stein. In an interview, Sanchez explained, “On Tuesdays and Thursdays (the days we practice right now) we do team dinner in Sherman. We also do team bonding nights (usually hosted by someone in suite style living) a couple times a semester. Team bonding is never required but we really enjoy getting to spend time together outside of practice because when it comes down to it, we are all friends.” The hopes for next year is to have a roster of 20 students — or even above 25. Ideally, they will also qualify for nationals again. Stone finished saying, “I chose Quidditch on a whim. I saw the club at the activities fair, signed up because I was a Harry Potter nerd, and went to one of the first practices. I just absolutely fell in love with the sport and the team and it's been a part of my identity ever since.”
Read more about the team at https://indoored.com/muggle-quidditch/.
Article updated to include the link to the teams page on May 9.